so then what is that? that's what i wanted to explore. then i wanted to talk about how ideas are born. and the big question that the book asks in a number of ways about a number of things is that how does a new idea come into the world? and using that... the birth of religion, it suggests that you have two tests. you have the test of weakness. when you're weak do you compromise, do you bend, do you give in, do you accommodate? and then the test of strong. when you're strong, are you merciful, are you generous or are you cruel? >> brown: then speaking of tests then you found yourself tested. and how did you find yourself looking back? i mean, i know you created this code name, right? >> yes. brown: then you wrote this book many years later in the third person looking at this character joseph anton, the young salman rushdie. >> it helped me write it novelistically in a way. it helped me look at myself as a fictional character but to look at myself objectively in the round, you know, warts and all.